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Hi! 43 disabled
Old 01-09-2014, 06:43 PM   #1
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Hi! 43 disabled

Hi, I am 43 been disabled for 11 years from an auto accident (Forced early retirement I guess) and received $560,000. I invested in Ameriprise and lost my sox. I have an annuity that runs out in October and $130,000 in cash. I fired my advisers because they were costing me around 6 grand a year. I have been living off of around 10 grand trying to make my money back from the market downturn. It will be my first year where I can buy healthcare. I need to find a way to generate an income so I can get the healthcare credit/subsidy. I think I need around $12,000.

I think I am ready to take on my own finances, thanks to this website!!!!!!
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome. I'm really sorry to hear about your Ameriprise experience. Have you found any jobs that you are able to handle given your disability? Are you eligible for social security disability pay?

Let us know if you have any specific questions we can answer. Otherwise, just peruse the various threads and I'm sure you will learn a lot from everyone here.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:57 PM   #3
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If you aren't already on SSDI, you should certainly apply at once. The SSDI eligibility rules require you to have worked five years out of the ten years before you got disabled. If you haven't worked that much since your accident, you will probably have to show that your disability started at the time of the accident. Good luck and best wishes.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:38 PM   #4
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If you aren't already on SSDI, you should certainly apply at once. The SSDI eligibility rules require you to have worked five years out of the ten years before you got disabled. If you haven't worked that much since your accident, you will probably have to show that your disability started at the time of the accident. Good luck and best wishes.
+1

Which state do you live in? You may qualify for Medicaid to supplement Medicare, too.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
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Hi everyone,

I was on disability until I received my settlement 11 yrs ago. I am disabled physically and mentally, but I am lucky to have skills where I can try to work from home via Internet. I write music and I make around 200$ per 30 second video game tune. I could, one day, find enough work to live off of maybe. Last year I made about $1000. One day at a time.

I guess I just dive into the site. This is both exciting and scary at the same time. Step one. Identify my needs maybe?

It is nice to meet all of you. This seems like it is going to be a friendly site. Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:07 PM   #6
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I write music and I make around 200$ per 30 second video game tune. I could, one day, find enough work to live off of maybe. Last year I made about $1000. One day at a time.
That could be a good career depending on how long it takes you to make each tune. If you can find a way to make or buy evergreen tunes, stock photographs, ebooks, videos, parked domains, sites or blogs that make just $2 a day each, over time with enough products built up that can add up to a nice little annual income (15 intellectual products X $2 day X 365 days a year = $11K annually). If you work full time at this over ten years you may be able to have lots of little passive income streams making money for you.

The fatwallet, flyertalk and slickdeal sites always have a bunch of little easy side income ideas, many can be done just online, that can generate a few hundred to a few thousand in extra income each year, like free after rebate deals or sign up bonuses for credit cards and checking accounts.

This thread has some good ideas for working at home ideas for a disabled person, just ignore the mean spirited and troll posts, but in between those there is actually a lot of great advice -

Request for help: Ideas for home based income >$700/month for my disabled sister

You might also looked at some of the work at home mom sites and forums - they have a lot of ideas for jobs people can do from home.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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Hi everyone,

I was on disability until I received my settlement 11 yrs ago. I am disabled physically and mentally, but I am lucky to have skills where I can try to work from home via Internet. I write music and I make around 200$ per 30 second video game tune. I could, one day, find enough work to live off of maybe. Last year I made about $1000. One day at a time.

I guess I just dive into the site. This is both exciting and scary at the same time. Step one. Identify my needs maybe?

It is nice to meet all of you. This seems like it is going to be a friendly site. Thanks for your help.
I can only repeat my very strong encouragement for you to apply for SSDI as quickly as possible. Your assets are clearly not large enough to generate the monthly income you will need once your annuity ends. As far as working from home, you can do that and collect SSDI at the same time. According to the following link, the monthly income limit for SSDI is $1,040. You may possibly get to the point where you are earning more than that, but you aren't there yet. Until your income increases, you can get SSDI benefits and still try to expand your home based income.

Quote:
However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does put a limit on the amount of money that you can earn through work when you receive Social Security disability benefits, because if you can earn an income, you aren't considered disabled.

Specifically, if you can engage in what the Social Security Administration (SSA) calls "substantial gainful activity" (SGA), you won't be eligible for benefits. A person who earns more than a certain monthly amount is considered to be engaging in SGA. Federal regulations use the national average wage index to set the income limit for determining the SGA each year. In 2013, the amount is $1,040 for disabled applicants and $1,740 for blind applicants. The rules differ for business owners, since their monthly income may not reflect the work effort they put into their business.
Income Limits for SSDI Benefits | Disability Secrets

It is extremely important for you to apply for SSDI well before your annuity ends. As I understand it, the approval process typically takes a long time, and you don't want to be in a position of needing to spend your very limited savings while you are waiting for SSDI approval and/or trying to increased your work from home income.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:44 PM   #8
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Here is another link with additional details about the effect of earned income on SSDI eligibility.

Quote:
You can work while getting SSDI as long as you follow the rules and your income is not too high.

Trial Work Period:

When you first start working, you get a trial work period. During the trial period, you get full SSDI benefits no matter how much you earn. In 2013, each month that you earn $750 or more counts as a trial work month. After nine trial work months, your trial work period ends. The months do not have to be consecutive.

Note: The amount of monthly income that counts as a trial work month changes each year. See Trial Work Period Increases.

Extended Period of Eligibility:

Once your trial work period is up, you get 36 more months when you can work and still get SSDI benefits. These 36 months are called the extended period of eligibility, or EPE. During the EPE, you get SSDI benefits each month unless your earnings for that month are "substantial."

In 2013, gross monthly earnings of $1040 or more ($1740 if you are blind) are considered "substantial." This dollar amount is referred to as the SGA ("Substantial Gainful Activity"). If you have work expenses related to your disability, you may deduct them from your gross earnings.

Note: The definition of "substantial" earnings changes from year to year. See Substantial Gainful Activity Increases.

After the EPE:

After the extended period of eligibility, you lose your SSDI benefits if you earn more than the SGA in any month. If that happens, you get "grace period" benefits for three more months, but then your SSDI benefits stop. Social Security will no longer consider you disabled.
http://www.massresources.org/ssdi-benefits.html
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:18 PM   #9
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One of the posts in the fatwallet thread suggested self employment for earned income along with SSDI. With self employment you may be able to deduct part of some of your normal living expenses you would incur anyway (home office, computer expenses, phone costs, ISP, health insurance, etc.) from your self employment income, reducing your net profit and keeping your taxable income under SSDI limits.

Some of the frequent flyer miles and credit card hacks on flyertalk will also generate non-taxable income.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:23 PM   #10
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You are not even close to the SSDI limits for income. As others suggested, get your application into SSDI first. Grow your business second.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:34 PM   #11
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Wow, all of you are great!! I have found the right website.

I am in Florida. My Dad applied for social security disability for me after the accident. I hadn't paid in enough money to get it, but I did qualify for SSI and medicaid. The government also wrote off my student loans. I was on SSI and medicaid for about a year before my settlement came through. Once my settlement came through I was no longer eligible because I had more than the allowed amount of money in the bank.

I have read the links that all of you have posted. (Thank you) Since I am not eligible for SSD I can't take advantage of the trial work period program. I am a bit afraid because I read that if I can make money then I am no longer disabled. What if my money runs out? My medical expenses are substantial, even though my doctor cuts me a deal and I get patience assistance for medication. I guess the healthcare plan will change things.

Unfortunately my financial adviser advised a variable annuity that doesn't give me an income. She said it was for retirement. But, it is about to expire and maybe I can find something to switch over to that does. I just now thought of that.

I need an income of at least $11,490 to take advantage of the healthcare subsidy/tax credit. If not I'll pay about $4,145 for healthcare. If I make more than $1070 a month ($12,840yr) then I am no longer legally disabled.

Financially, being disabled is a liability, and whatever security I think I have if I run out of money might not be worth it. I guess I can always go through the process again if I can't sustain an income. Maybe I can pay enough into the system and be eligible for SSD when I retire!! That is the on the top end of my outcome and the lower end would be to skate by making under $12,480 and above $11,490.


It has taken me all day to figure this out!! It was well worth it. All of you have been wonderful helping me along with this.

Here's to making some money so we all can retire!
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:28 PM   #12
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I need an income of at least $11,490 to take advantage of the healthcare subsidy/tax credit. If not I'll pay about $4,145 for healthcare. If I make more than $1070 a month ($12,840yr) then I am no longer legally disabled.
I am not sure if this would help or if moving is an option for you, but if you moved to a state with expanded Medicaid, would that help? I think in states with expanded Medicaid there is no longer any asset test.

I would also make sure you are applying for every low income program your state has to offer - housing, food stamps, free cell phone or land line, reduced utility rates for low income households, etc. If you can take classes online, there are many free ones these days or you might be able to get financial aid for an online degree.

Can you take online courses for programming type work you could do from home? There are online job boards like elance and guru where employers hire freelancers for contract work. Beside programming, many boards have freelance work from home jobs for virtual assistants, graphic designers, social media help, paid forum moderators, link development, article writing and many more kinds of work.

If you type in "digital nomad" into Google you will come across a number of fields where people can work just from lap tops. I know many people who only do this kind of work for a living, myself included. If you hang out on forums for the kinds of jobs that interest you, you can probably find some mentors to help you kick start a career you can do from home.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:48 PM   #13
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One other thought...I have heard of people on disability putting money in a trust or annuity so the assets are not counted against them in asset test programs. A disability advocate or attorney in your state may be able to help you in this area.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:15 PM   #14
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One other thought...I have heard of people on disability putting money in a trust or annuity so the assets are not counted against them in asset test programs. A disability advocate or attorney in your state may be able to help you in this area.
+1

Don't spend down what you don't have to. You have a lot of years left at your age. Even in a non-expansion state, you may qualify for Medicaid. I'd look into talking to a disability advocate.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:54 PM   #15
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I am very sorry to hear that you don't have enough work history to qualify for SSDI. I know from the experience of a family member that the rules for qualifying for SSI are much more restrictive. Unfortunately, that means your options are somewhat limited.

You should really attempt to contact an organization in your area that advocates for the disabled. They will have a better idea of what your options are. You may also need an attorney, but please look into advocacy groups first.

I like the suggestion in another post of setting up a trust to hold your savings. If it's set up right, it may possibly allow you to qualify for SSI without running over the asset limit. Naturally you shouldn't do this lightly. It's probably irrevocable, so you shouldn't do anything without expert legal assistance.

One possibility that may not have occurred to you is to buy your own home with part of your savings and set up a trust account to pay for the property tax and maintenance expenses. As it turns out, the value of your home does not count against the asset limits for SSI. I personally was once involved in selling a house to a disabled person through a local advocacy group that used this exemption from SSI limits to help their clients live in owner-occupied houses and condos.

Let me emphasize again that you need to have an advocate for the disabled in your corner to help you make these critical decisions. It sounds to me that a lot of your problem was your previous FA, who charged high fees without helping you much at all. Believe me, there really are people out there who dedicate their lives to helping, not taking.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:20 PM   #16
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You all have convinced me to search out info about help. Florida has a brain and spinal cord injury program. I just need the courage to convince myself that "yea, I might never be quite the same and I do need help".

I have an irrevocable trust. I think Florida even checked to see if I owned a car. $2000 is the limit of money I can have in my bank account. It has been 10 years since I was told I would not be eligible for assistance anymore. I would feel really guilty. There are people that are far worse off than me. It's hard to gauge the big picture though.


It makes me feel good that there are people making a living on laptops. It makes me feel like I can be like that. Ill read the links and do a google search. Thank you.

I have a professor that has been helping me find the video game jobs. They aren't regular, but I am working. I still have some connections in L.A. too. I won't go into everything here.

What all of you have shown me is that I need to get a job and not be afraid to ask for help.


And boy have all of you helped!!
The better side of humanity.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:25 PM   #17
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You may also want to blind-call some lawfirms and ask if they will do pro bono work (no fee) on your behalf.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:09 PM   #18
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Hope this isn't a double post.
Thanks mystang52. I might need to call a lawyer or maybe and accountant.
I have around 300,000 annuity that is about to run out. It is for retirement. I need to figure out what to do with it. I am not 59 1/2 so I would have to pay a 10% fee, but I found this.

I found this on the IRS website - Retirement Topics - Exceptions to Tax on Early Distributions It says "The distribution will NOT be subject to the 10% additional early distribution tax in the following circumstances: total and permanent disability of the participant/IRA owner.

I was thinking of doing what Karluk said about buying a house and renting it out. I would have an income and would qualify for health insurance. I would just need to figure out what price house to buy to make $1,000 a month.

I have to be fully bedridden for the spine and brain damage website to help. I have found an advocacy website but I don't think they will help with anything to do with money. Services | Disability Rights Florida

I am not going to make the healthcare date for this year (Feb 15th). Because I am in Florida I won't be penalized. I am going to try to work out a plan to have an income before I sign up. I would be paying around $350 a month for health insurance. $4,200 extra a year. I could gamble and hope I have an income or gamble that I don't get sick. I should have figured all of this out earlier.

My question is: Does anyone know who I would ask about being disabled and taking money our of a retirement account. An accountant?

Thanks again.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:17 PM   #19
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I think an accountant/CPA would be good. Don't go near a FA to help you.
Best wishes,
MRG
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:07 PM   #20
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The ACA deadline is March 31, not Feb. 15.

Don't go near a FA to help you is good advice.
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